19 November 2011

What can the history of welfare states in the west teach us about social protection in developing countries?

From Peter Lindert, Growing Public: Social Spending and Economic Growth since the Eighteenth Century (HT: MR)
The same forces will continue to drive global trends in social transfers for the next half-century. Countries’ social transfers, like their commitment to public schooling, will depend mainly on their income growth, their population aging, and the fullness of their democracy. The Robin Hood paradox will continue to hold in the year 2050: The countries that still spend less than 10 percent of GDP on transfers, and little on schools, will be the troubled countries where poverty and inequality call most loudly for such social spending.
Yes, social spending has been internally driven for most countries, but the "robin hood paradox" would suggest to me a potential catalytic role for aid.

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